So this is what the exploding logo was all about. Today, one of the world's fastest search engines just got a little faster. Google unveiled its newest update to Web search, Google Instant. Now, when users begin typing a keyword search, the results instantly appear below. Marissa Mayer, the company's VP of search products, says the new update is all about saving users' time. "Our testing has shown that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search," Mayer says. "That may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. With Google Instant, we estimate that we’ll save our users 11 hours with each passing second!" Reactions from around the Web:
This Will Save the World a Lot of Time, writes Charles Arthur at The Guardian: "Marissa Mayer, the company's vice president of search and user experience, said that until now, each search typically lasts 25 seconds - 9 seconds of typing, 1 second in which the query reaches Google, is processed and sent back, and 15 seconds during which the user considers which search result to click on. But with Google Instant the average search will be shortened by two to five seconds per query - which, given the billions of people who use the service every week, would mean 11 hours of searching saved every second."
- It's Lightning Fast, observes Claire Cain Miller at The New York Times: "Start typing 'San Francisco' in the search box, and by the time you get through 'San,' you will already see a map of the city, a collection of photos of landmarks and links to Alcatraz and the San Francisco visitors’ center. Or, without typing anything more, select Google’s next guess, Santa Cruz, and see a map, photos and links for that city. Type 'the gi' and the search box shows 'the girl with the dragon tattoo,' as if it is reading your mind."
- It Won't Slow You Down, notes Jared Newman at PC World: "Google claims that Instant won't considerably slow down Internet connections, because the amount of data delivered for search terms is relatively small, and because the system only sends parts of the page that change when more typing alters a search result. For connections that are already slow, Google Instant automatically turns off, and users can also shut off the service through their user preferences or by clicking the drop down box to the right of the search bar."
- Could Change the Face of SEO, writes Charles Arthur at The Guardian: "The impact could be dramatic on another group who have previously relied heavily on Google's old search results page. "Search engine optimisation" (SEO) experts have built a gigantic business from analysing what results appear for a particular set query, especially to Google. However the new system, with its live updates of queries, means that it will be more difficult for SEO analysts to work out which results will do well from which query, because the results will keep changing as the user types. It will also be harder to examine the results mechanically."
- I Have No Idea What Google Does Anymore, says a resigned Alex Balk: "Google lost me around Wave (remember that?) and ever since then I've just been in a fog of confusion and indifference. I can make cellphone calls from my Gmail inbox? Okay! There's a new priority system that tells me what mail I need to read before I've opened it? Sure! Whatever you say, Google! When we are all toiling in the mines as part of the Google Serf program I'm sure we will still appreciate these few years of technological innovations. If only I understood what the hell they were."
One-letter instant search presumptions appear to be both local and personalized (they know what I've looked for).
One impact of instant search: I'll start using the Google home page more; was using chrome address bar.
Google Instant tastes like the real thing—unlike those old instant search engines; they always tasted like beef bullion to me.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.